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Gates Warns of Software Replacing People; Greenspan Says H-1Bs Fix Inequity

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the man-with-the-plan dept.

The Almighty Buck 516

dcblogs writes "Bill Gates and Alan Greenspan, in separate forums, offered outlooks and prescriptions for fixing jobs and income. Gates is concerned that graduates of U.S. secondary schools may not be able stay ahead of software automation. 'These things are coming fast,' said Gates, in an interview with the American Enterprise Institute 'Twenty years from now labor demand for a lots of skill sets will be substantially lower, and I don't think people have that in their mental model.' Meanwhile, former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan believes one way to attack income inequity is to raise the H-1B cap. If the program were expanded, income wouldn't necessarily go down much, but it would go down enough to make an impact. Income inequality is a relative concept, he argued. People who are absolutely at the top of the scale in 1925, for instance, would be getting food stamps today, said Greenspan. 'You don't have to necessarily bring up the bottom if you bring the top down.'"

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Greenspan's right (4, Interesting)

Coop (9778) | about 6 months ago | (#46502533)

People in all societies get their ideas of what's necessary, and what's enough, and what to buy, by looking at the people around them and comparing it to their own situation. The don't use any kind of empirical or absolute measure, unless they're chronically hungry or in similar dire straits.

Re:Greenspan's right (5, Insightful)

gnoshi (314933) | about 6 months ago | (#46502539)

Extending on Greenspan's idea, you can reduce inequity by having the top 0.01% take all the money from the remaining 99.99%. All that demonstrates is that having low inequity as your sole target is stupid.

Re:Greenspan's right (5, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | about 6 months ago | (#46502665)

Here's a better idea Mr. Greenspam. How about we make your pay equal to everybody elses? (My insulting consulting invoice is issued by the way)

Re:Greenspan's right (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502677)

How about we just shoot the motherfucker in the head?

Re:Greenspan's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502899)

"How about we just shoot the motherfucker in the head?"

Now now now that won't do. The stupid reality-denying old fart is a perfect reverse barometer.

Re:Greenspan's right (4, Insightful)

matthewv789 (1803086) | about 6 months ago | (#46502799)

I disagree. I think we would fix a ton of other problems that are strongly resistant to other solutions if just about the only thing we did focus on was income inequality. The problem is, right now, we don't do anything at all about income inequality except allow it to get worse every year for the last 40 years.

Re:Greenspan's right (1)

plopez (54068) | about 6 months ago | (#46502583)

How does marketing and advertising impact this?

Re:Greenspan's right (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 6 months ago | (#46502959)

How does marketing and advertising impact this?

Advertising must cater to the poor, wise, rich, foolish, people with spots, or smoking joints, all equally -- fool all the people, all of the time.

you really need this technological wonder device!

Living in 1925 kinda sucked (5, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 6 months ago | (#46502637)

There have been a _ton_ of advancements that become available when you have money. Medical Science has advanced to the point where we can do maintenance on the human body and improve it in general. This can be as simple as your kid's braces, or as complex as resurfacing your hip so you can walk without a cane in your 50s.

Also, what's "necessary" is defined by employers. If I'm going to function as an office worker I'm expected to have a car, cellphone, college education, etc. If I don't have these I become unemployable... I lose access to all of the benefits I described above.

Also, why in God's Green Earth are we talking about regressing to the 1920s? When did we give up on progress? When did poverty become an acceptable condition? When I was a kid we'd already sent a man to the moon. Keeping kids out of poverty seemed simple by comparison...

Re:Living in 1925 kinda sucked (5, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 6 months ago | (#46502673)

Also, why in God's Green Earth are we talking about regressing to the 1920s? When did we give up on progress? When did poverty become an acceptable condition?

It became acceptable (to those making the statement) around the time it became obvious that you cannot concentrate the wealth of the world much more than it already is without placing most of the population into poverty.

Re:Living in 1925 kinda sucked (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502975)

It became acceptable (to those making the statement) around the time it became obvious that you cannot concentrate the wealth of the world much more than it already is without placing most of the population into poverty.

To be more clear: you cannot accumulate wealth into a small group of people faster than the economy grows on the whole without invoking a zero sum game. The current leeching of the economy by the wealthy is faster than the economy is growing which is only sustainable through wealth transferral instead of wealth creation.

Ah yes, lower the standard of living to fix it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502925)

What a complete moron. I used to actually have at least a LITTLE respect for Greenspan, but seriously? Anyone who thinks this is a good idea must have such an advanced case of cranial rectal insertion that removal is likely to be impossible. On the other hand, my opinion of Gates has actually improved, just a little bit. Better planning for the future is always in order, and sticking with the same old paradigms for too long can eventually have significant consequences. You don't just turn the ship around overnight so people need to keep an eye on these things and push for little course corrections along the way.

Re:Greenspan's right (4, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 6 months ago | (#46502641)

One perfect example of this I see on a daily basis is the expectation that one should either live independently or live in a single family household. This is a common thing in the US, but it is extremely uncommon throughout most of the world, even in other first world countries. In most of the world it is rather common to have 2 or more families to a single household, and generally that household will be physically smaller than the typical US household.

People sometimes wonder why rent is high in some areas (see the whole Google bus thing.) That's why (well that and SF refuses to permit building more real estate or even building upwards to meet the growth needs of the population, which is really a bonehead move.)

Re:Greenspan's right (4, Informative)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 6 months ago | (#46502717)

SF refuses to permit building more real estate or even building upwards

I guess you haven’t looked anywhere in the direction of Rincon Hill in the past few years. Or been to South Beach, or Mission Bay, or looked at Lennar’s plans for the Candlestick area. I look forward to all this luxury development increasing the housing supply and driving down rents. I’ll just be over here not holding my breath.

Re:Greenspan's right (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 6 months ago | (#46502735)

Sorry for the double-reply, but I meant to also say that you’re right about shared households. I live in one, and think they should be encouraged and thought about beyond “need new roommate, post to craigslist.” I suppose “intentional communities” is the jargon for what I mean.

Re:Greenspan's right (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502885)

In the movie, "Happy" [imdb.com] , they talk about a communal living situation in, IIRC, Denmark. The advantages extend far beyond simply saving money. Other benefits range from increased socialization for kids to little things like having to only cook once per month (but cooking for 30-60 people). Seems like something people should be doing more of.

Re:Greenspan's right (1)

careysub (976506) | about 6 months ago | (#46502861)

One perfect example of this I see on a daily basis is the expectation that one should either live independently or live in a single family household. This is a common thing in the US, but it is extremely uncommon throughout most of the world, even in other first world countries....

Citation please?

Oh, here's one! [oecd.org] Apparently the average family household unit size in the entire OECD (basically, the community of industrialized nations) is about 2.6, which is almost exactly the same as that for the U.S.! In other words, far from being unusual in first world countries, we are strictly average!

So, no, you are just making stuff up that you think sounds plausible.

Re:Greenspan's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502795)

Sure, but we're gonna start at regular run of the mill IT folks? You think they are the ones everyone looks to with envy? Try million and billionaires. Hell what entertainment and sports stars, again millionaires. Nope, it's those damn IT workers, they are the true cause of inequality!

Fuck that (4, Interesting)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about 6 months ago | (#46502545)

All Greenspan wants to do is further shaft the US worker and help Big Business cut its costs even further. He's nothing more than a shill at this point.

Re:Fuck that (5, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 6 months ago | (#46502619)

Exactly! Anyone that can't see how his logic is broken should ask a friend to read it to them while they polish their red tipped cane. Increasing H1B imports, when companies pay these people less than they do college graduates, helps the US economy how? An executive getting a big fat bonus check by keeping 100 US citizens from working does not help out our economy, and _can not_ help our economy.

This line of crap is almost as pathetic as the "jobs American's won't do" crap. Both of those are simply excuses to pay foreigners less money than a company would have to pay a US employee due to minimum wage laws. Just Google "h1b visa abuses in the US" and read the first few results.

I won't bother Billy Bashing in this, his comments were not so bad for a change and I just bashed him yesterday for claiming Snowden was no hero.

Re:Fuck that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502743)

As an H1B worker, I can tell you right now, you've been watching too much Fox news. We certainly get substantially more than college graduates ;P

Re: Fuck that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502805)

Maybe from your own country., but not here, certainly not the prevaling wage as the law states.

Re: Fuck that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502881)

As the same H1B worker, I can tell you right now, yes, I get above the prevailing silicon valley wage. Fairly significantly in fact.

Re:Fuck that (2)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 6 months ago | (#46502695)

That's a common argument I see against immigration, but the fact is that immigration allows the economy to expand. (Immigrants don't steal your job, rather their mere presence permits the addition of new ones.)

The only problem I have with immigration is non-working ones who effectively leech off of the dole system and take advantage of our birthright citizenship loophole (which few countries have.) So called anchor babies by being a citizen automatically entitle their parents to welfare benefits (For example, current medicaid rules stipulate that anybody who merely has a child under 18 that is a US citizen are themselves eligible for full healthcare benefits, which are actually way better than you can buy in from private insurance, and are also completely free. They're also eligible for TANF where the T doesn't actually apply to them, in addition to being eligible for SNAP.)

The above is a very real problem that Arizona tried to deal with by simply enforcing federal immigration rules at the local level, but the federal government has effectively stopped it. In addition to that, the federal government also doesn't permit Arizona to deport known drug cartel members. (That and Phoenix is also the kidnapping capital of the world, another problem that the federal government won't allow Arizona to deal with.)

Re: Fuck that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502879)

TANF is not available to illegal aliens.

Re: Fuck that (0)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 6 months ago | (#46502897)

They're not here illegally if they have a kid who is a citizen.

Re:Fuck that (3, Insightful)

careysub (976506) | about 6 months ago | (#46502883)

...

The only problem I have with immigration is non-working ones who effectively leech off of the dole system and take advantage of our birthright citizenship loophole (which few countries have.) So called anchor babies by being a citizen automatically entitle their parents to welfare benefits...

So basically you hate the people who exist in your fantasies. I am sure a good fantasy-hating makes you feel all warm inside.

Re:Fuck that (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 6 months ago | (#46502941)

I don't recall saying that (and they're certainly around; I hear complaints all the time from a friend of mine who is himself an immigrant and always sees patients who are birthright citizens, which he commonly complains about because he had to go through hell to get here the normal way.)

That is also ignoring acts of terror:

http://www.reuters.com/article... [reuters.com]

Anyways I don't really view it as my problem. I intend on expatriating myself, so I'm not going to bother fighting it. It's actually a problem that those who are intending to stay here are going to have to deal with after so many years of turning a blind eye to it (people like you telling themselves that it's racism when race has nothing to do with it -- never mind that Mexico isn't a race, nor are Mexicans, many of which are whiter than I am.)

Re:Fuck that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502901)

How 'bout we just make it easier for skilled immigrants to get citizenship rather than increasing the number of "here temporarily to earn as much money as possible before being forced to go home" employees? Making them invested in the future success of our country seems like a good thing to me, plus it kinda solves the H1-B discount issue that people here love to bitch about.

Re:Fuck that (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 6 months ago | (#46502907)

What do you mean "at this point." The guy has ALWAYS been a shill. If you look up how the Fed talked up ARMs as they decreased interest rates, then jacked them up right after everyone bought it (the "curve" made a nice V in the naughts), you know he's always been a shill.

What a disingenuous jerk (3, Funny)

msobkow (48369) | about 6 months ago | (#46502551)

So Greenspan rightly pointed out that inflation means the top 1% from the '20s would be in poverty now if their wealth hadn't been subjected to inflation.

Yeah. So what has that got to do with ANYTHING?

Re:What a disingenuous jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502713)

He's saying that buy increasing the pool of low income workers (low relative to the rich), you drive the general cost of goods down, and thus there's negative inflationary pressure on the rich. In other words, they well not have to inflate as much because the cost of living index will increase more slowly relative to the value of the dollar. I don't agree with his approach and think he's a rich idiot, but at least I can explain what his argument is so you can tear it apart.

Re:What a disingenuous jerk (5, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 6 months ago | (#46502719)

Well, that is not quite true and quite frankly points out what kind of a bullshit artist Greenspan is. Basically the 1% of the 1920 owned a lot of capital assets like properties, farms, business, shares, jewellry, even what are today vintage auto mobiles and these would all have adjusted to inflation accordingly and they would be exceedingly wealthy based upon today's standards and today's property and business values. So Greenspans statement is 100% total crap.

When you own the means of production, the means of generating wealth you are never poor, until it is stripped away from just after a bloody and ruthless revolution.

What these asshats are alluding to is the truly disposable workforce. When you are no longer of use to psychopathic capitalism you are disposed of, parked in concentration camps for the unemployable, only let out for chain gang style mass labour projects. These are very evil people as they make no mention of reduced working hours with increased pay against productivity gains, more time for leisure and free education, with the contributions to society spread out to take into account automation.

All these fuck heads see, is automation, ahh no expensive work force more profits for me. With no concept of who they are going to sell the shit to, other than that workers must accept significantly reduced status unless their existence is sponsored by an employer. These people are a real and present danger, a threat to humanity.

Re:What a disingenuous jerk (2)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 6 months ago | (#46502873)

My thoughts exactly and nicely articulated.

Well done good sir.

I still remember as a small child in the late 70's/early 80's reading about how robots and automation were going to mean in the future we all only had to work 10 hours a week and could spend the rest of the time being creative and enjoying ourselves and leading meaningful lives.

Under the current system can anyone see anything even approaching that happening at all?

There is still hope however that we can realise this utopian future.

Of course it will require stepping over the bloody corpses of a few thousand million and billionaires... ...so who's with me!?

So he caused the last couple of financial crisises (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502553)

And now Greenspan wants to start the class war in America? Does this man have no ability to think long term?

Re:So he caused the last couple of financial crisi (2)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46502621)

Greenspan is a sock puppet for the banking industry. He was outed when he basically said, 'Oops. I fucked up' after the derivative market collapsed in 2007. I thought he wouldn't have the balls to open his mouth again after that fiasco.

Need for long-term view of society (5, Insightful)

UPZ (947916) | about 6 months ago | (#46502555)

I hope that Mr. Gates sees that 'software replacing humans' even if accelerates is a problem only in the current model of capitalistic society. In this capitalistic society, humans have to compete with automation and software. We do have the resources to feed, clothe and shelter everyone on this planet. I think it's time to start talking about moving past a capitalistic economy. Otherwise, in search of never ending profits, we will destroy the people and environment around us.

Re:Need for long-term view of society (1)

plopez (54068) | about 6 months ago | (#46502587)

+1

Re:Need for long-term view of society (0, Troll)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 6 months ago | (#46502667)

It is NOT a problem in the current model at all. It is a problem only for those that are not willing to change or evolve their skills. Skill sets required change, some new ones will be required and many old ones will become less relevant. In a recent training course I was at there were a whole heap of infrastructure people trying to improve there development skillset (surprised me how many actually), these are people that can see the freight train coming and are altering there skills appropriately. Many more will simply find themselves out of work and wonder "what the fuck just happened?" and this is just in the IT space, every other work environment has the same situation. Evolve or Die!

Re:Need for long-term view of society (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502705)

And cunts like you can just be murdered and robbed by those who get fucked over and can't get a new start. How's that grab you Mr. Darwin? You can't talk if I shoot your larynx out the back of your fucking neck cocksucker.

Re:Need for long-term view of society (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 6 months ago | (#46502757)

I fear you maybe a little short sighted. Very smart AI is just around the corner (and i'm not talking ibm watson, i'm talking hardwired neuromorphic chips based on our own brains). There won't be much a human can do, that it wont be able to do better. I'm on the optimistic side, and think we will have human level ai in 10 years, but even if you are not, 25-50 years is easily more than enough time to complete it (think how far computers have come in 30 years). If the computer is as smart as a human it won't matter how many training courses you go to, the computer can complete them almost instantaneously, then work 24/7, possibly even at a faster rate.

Re:Need for long-term view of society (1)

CommanderK (1078087) | about 6 months ago | (#46502887)

we will have human level ai in 10 years, but even if you are not, 25-50 years is easily more than enough time to complete it

That's what people have been saying for the last 50 years or more, and I don't think we're any closer now than we were back then.

Re:Need for long-term view of society (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502935)

That's what people have been saying for the last 50 years or more, and I don't think we're any closer now than we were back then.

Do you know what happened to the boy who cried wolf? His entire town was eaten because after the third or fourth time they figured there'd never be a wolf so there's no reason to prepare.

Re:Need for long-term view of society (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502759)

...or... ...you could just avoid the employers that bloodhawk keeps getting duped into working for!

Keep evolving, bloodhawk... Keep evolving.

Re:Need for long-term view of society (2)

SeeManRun (1040704) | about 6 months ago | (#46502785)

Not everyone can evolve like you say. Some jobs will be gone and people will be left behind. What we do about those people is what needs to change. Right now they are left to fend for themselves because we accuse them of not seeing the writing on the wall so it is their own fault. But the people at the top are very smart, and they are actively working against the people at the bottom to increase their profits. If the people at Ford could replace their skilled manufacturers with robots that cost $250 grand a piece, they would hop to it in an instant. That could be a virtual overnight change in manufacturing in the entire country if robots could be made dexterous enough to replace humans. We are probably only a few years away from doing that. Those people cannot all be left to fend for themselves, and upgrade their skills to do something else. It is beyond scale that is possible.

Re:Need for long-term view of society (1)

matthewv789 (1803086) | about 6 months ago | (#46502973)

Except that it is a problem. Soon, the only "skilled job" left that robots won't easily be able to replace (or will they?) will be as a prostitute. I sure hope you can "adapt your skills" adequately.

Re:Need for long-term view of society (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 6 months ago | (#46502703)

Hail the rise of robo-communism, as capitalism is a dead end. If only we wern't told so much how evil communism is. Interestingly, true communism (never actully tried) requires a period of prosperus capitalism first.

Re:Need for long-term view of society (3, Insightful)

CommanderK (1078087) | about 6 months ago | (#46502895)

How does this "true communism" you speak of differ from the one that's been tried, and has failed over and over and over?

Re:Need for long-term view of society (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 6 months ago | (#46502967)

They didn't have a period of prosperous capitalism first, that lenin predicted they would need. There are two problems to face with commuism. First if your country and people are all poor, splitting up what little you have and sharring it equally just means a lot of people have next to nothing. Secondly if all people are equal, and paid equal, how do you convince some people their job is to clean toilets while other people are testing video games. A period of properous capitilism while the country builds industry and gets rich solves the first problem, the second problem is solved with robot toilet cleaners.

Re:Need for long-term view of society (1)

khallow (566160) | about 6 months ago | (#46502835)

We do have the resources to feed, clothe and shelter everyone on this planet.

So what do you have to offer for that food, clothes, shelter, etc? Especially, if you're the sort that makes more problems that require food, clothes, shelter, etc. Labor for the stuff you want is a system that works. It gives the providers of stuff incentive to give you stuff.

Hoping that someone provides you with the resources you need depends on a morality or ethics system that might not always be there.

Re:Need for long-term view of society (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about 6 months ago | (#46502951)

Labor for the stuff you want is a system that works. It gives the providers of stuff incentive to give you stuff.

It works as long as "providers of stuff" need labor.

The real problem with the "post scarcity" world is that labor is becoming less scarce than resources. Even if every last thing was made by robots, someone has to pay for the stuff the robots make it from.

A billionaire and a tax grazing idiot agree - BFD! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502557)

Gate - the a-hole billionaire and Greenspan - a guy who has lived off government and governments relationship with banksters - they both like H1-Bs...

Who knew?!?! The left-wing billionaire and the tax grazing geezer are in unity - screw the average American worker - who woulda' thunk?!?!?

Is lifting H1-Bs going to push down CEO pay???? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502559)

Because that's the top. Not STEM.

Re:Is lifting H1-Bs going to push down CEO pay???? (0)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#46502687)

Because that's the top. Not STEM.

Get a grip. When progressives say that "the rich" should pay more, they are talking about YOU. Most STEM people are in the top 20% by household income. Most reasonable people would consider that to be "rich". You are an idiot if you believe the propaganda about it being "the 99% vs the 1%".

Re:Is lifting H1-Bs going to push down CEO pay???? (3, Informative)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 6 months ago | (#46502815)

You have a very nonstandard definition of “rich” if it encompasses the entire top quintile. (Of modern industrial/post-industrial civilizations — we’re not talking about compared to Haiti.)

Re:Is lifting H1-Bs going to push down CEO pay???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502821)

Gates and Greenspan are not progressives.

Re:Is lifting H1-Bs going to push down CEO pay???? (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#46502859)

Gates and Greenspan are not progressives.

In general, no. But Greenspan was recommending reducing inequity, not by helping the poor, but by pulling down "the rich" (meaning people like you). That is certainly a "progressive" viewpoint.

Narco Idiots Gates and Greenspan Unleashed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502567)

Seems funny.

Two ass wipes butt fucking a Motel 6 in Tulsa.

That Gates and Greenspan in a condom.

More H-1Bs? (4, Insightful)

Old VMS Junkie (739626) | about 6 months ago | (#46502571)

I can't see the logic with this one. Off-shore even more well-paying jobs to low-cost replacements in third world countries? How does that fix income inequity? The H-1B visa is being perverted by big business. It was intended to bring skill workers to the US, presuming that at least some percentage of them would stay and add to the economic engine. In practice, these visas are used by shell companies to bring migrant workers here to train, then return to their off-shore operations centers, taking permanent positions with them. Greenspan is correct only in the theoretical use of the H-1B, not in it's actual practice.

Greenspan wants to eliminate the skills premium. (5, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | about 6 months ago | (#46502575)

When he talks about eliminating inequality by bringing the top down, he doesn't mean bringing down the 1%ers like himself and Gates. He's talking about bringing down all the skilled workers in the top 5-10% down to the level of unskilled workers. This doesn't actually reduce income inequality (it actually makes it worse), so he's full of crap. This has long been Greenspan's desire; it annoys him to no end that people who do things can aspire to salaries as high as lower-level banksters.

Greenspan? (5, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46502579)

I thought he'd been laughed out of Washington DC following the mortgage securities fiasco.

former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan believes one way to attack income inequity is to raise the H-1B cap

Econ 101 - Supply and Demand. You just increase the supply and prices go down. So, what does Al think the 'bottom' is? H-1B visas for tech workers hit the middle class. The bottom is the fast food, dishwasher, gardener, etc. That's the people who wade across the Rio Grande. Fast food restaurants and farms don't go through the H-1B process for labor.

How about we import some lower priced talent for the executive offices? That'll fix inequality. Seriously, I've seena number of situations where corporations on the edge of failure were sold to foreign firms and are now being run quite profitably. Same factory, same tools, same unions. Better managers.

Re:Greenspan? (4, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | about 6 months ago | (#46502633)

There are a number of mines and chemical plants where I grew up. In the 80's as Americans shifted to selling fraudulent securities and "brand management" some of these were bought out by overseas companies. The workers of the the plants that did not get bought out were envious. The management improved that much. The people I knew working there would say things like, "I don't care who buys us out; Germans, French, Japanese, or whoever. As long as we get rid of American management".

Note that pay and benefits did not change, but the reports I got was things got more streamline and logical with less focus on punishment.

Re:Greenspan? (5, Insightful)

careysub (976506) | about 6 months ago | (#46502829)

I thought he'd been laughed out of Washington DC following the mortgage securities fiasco.

...

As long as you are saying what serves the interests of Big Business and people of fabulous wealth, inherited and otherwise, you will always be a respected commentator whose words command solemn attention, and be widely reported.

Re: Greenspan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502889)

Rupert Murdoch was Australian, then became an American citizen. See, we are already outsourcing CEO positions!

Move. (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 6 months ago | (#46502591)

The real solution is to move.

The jobs aren't where they were before... Look at the entire planet when you do a job search and see things in a new light.

How? (4, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 6 months ago | (#46502693)

I'm pretty local. I'm stuck here because a) I only know one language and it's a bit late to learn (what with being an adult of only sightly above average intelligence) and b) not having tons of money.

I keep getting told that if I don't like being poor I should just stop being poor. Gee, that'd be nice, but I don't see anyone lining up to give me capital.... I've got ideas and I'm willing to work (I am in fact :P, taking a break from a large code project to troll /. :) ). I made a lot of mistakes in life, but I also had a lot of things just fall apart around me through no fault of my own. I watched as 90 % of the IT industry was shipped overseas and nobody noticed or cared. Just like with the car industry. Now I'm watching what's left get automated away

I haven't once heard anything constructive come out of the "Don't be Poor" crowd. If you have real solutions I'd like to hear them. What are we going to do in 20 years when robots drive cars, make food, deliver packages and pick our fruit? What are we going to do with all these people we just don't _need_? If you're OK with letting them starve to death on Resevations (like America did with the Natives) and brutally oppressing them when they get out of line then fine, say it and be done. But stop pretending you have an answer that doesn't end with the entire planet looking like North Korea.

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502905)

North Korea doesn't have much in the way of automation. Automation happens as a result of high wages making machines competitve. When all your workers are being forced to work at the threat of being starved to death or sent for "re-education", the proposition of adopting automation doesn't seem so attractive.

The only place automation happens without price pressure is where the thing being made can't be made by hand, either it's too small (or precise) like semiconductors and machine gun parts, or it's too big like heavy machines and ships.

Re:How? (1)

khallow (566160) | about 6 months ago | (#46502921)

I keep getting told that if I don't like being poor I should just stop being poor. Gee, that'd be nice, but I don't see anyone lining up to give me capital....

Your employer is giving you capital for starters. Maybe you ought to look at what you're doing with that.

What are we going to do in 20 years when robots drive cars, make food, deliver packages and pick our fruit?

Other stuff obviously. Jobs change and maybe you should be changing with that. We're not all chipping flint and hunting rabbits any more. Somehow we adapted to greater changes than the ones that have you so concerned.

Re:Move. (1)

SeeManRun (1040704) | about 6 months ago | (#46502793)

Move is possible with international corporations. People cannot just move to another country. It takes years to immigrate to another country, possibly your prime earning years. If my job is outsourced to India for 20% of my pay, I cannot simply move to India to take up that job. And I can't really take an 80% paycut and continue my job here. It just doesn't work. The free market needs to start thinking more protectionist, or there will be a revolution if what is predicted by Bill and Alan comes to pass.

Re:Move. (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#46502843)

Holy shit, how can people be so clueless. You think an unemployed programmer should just pack up his family, ditch his mortgage, and move to fucking Vietnam to work for a dollar a day? When is he going to find the time to learn a language, while he's struggling to feed his family? How's he going to afford the trip? What makes you think his chosen country will even allow him to immigrate in the first place? What makes you think there will even be jobs there, if the problem is technology making human labor unnecessary?

No, you know what he can, should, and will do? He'll fucking murder you, and take your stuff. If your world view relies on the underclass laying down and dying for your convenience, you're going to be in for a rude, and fully deserved, awakening.

Re:Move. (1)

CommanderK (1078087) | about 6 months ago | (#46502919)

No, you know what he can, should, and will do? He'll fucking murder you, and take your stuff. If your world view relies on the underclass laying down and dying for your convenience, you're going to be in for a rude, and fully deserved, awakening.

That is a horrible and seriously criminal attitude. You're arguing that if others don't give you something you need, it's fine to just murder them (your words, not mine). Unprovoked violence is never justified; whatever your problems might be, you have to solve them peacefully (unless you get attacked first). This kind of Robin Hood-style violence does not belong in a civilized, developed society.

Re:Move. (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 6 months ago | (#46502961)

You seem to assume that open borders are a two-way street. Guess what, it's a hell of a lot easier for a Chinese or Indian person to get a US working visa than it is the other way around(note I didn't say impossible, but both countries are extremely protectionist of their native workforces)

Everyone calm down... (2, Interesting)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 6 months ago | (#46502595)

What is this? "Read the headline and comment" day? Greenspan is saying that the US education system is broken, and needs to be fixed.

"We cannot manage our very complex, highly sophisticated capital structure with what's coming out of our high schools," said Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve."

He talks about having to expand the H-1B system if we don't actually address the problems in our education system here in America. Read the fucking article, people.

Re:Everyone calm down... (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 6 months ago | (#46502627)

"We cannot manage our very complex, highly sophisticated capital structure with what's coming out of our high schools," said Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve."

That's a red herring, because we don't need to; we need to manage it with what's coming out of our universities.

Re:Everyone calm down... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502653)

You mean the education system that is already turning out at LEAST 2X as many QUALIFIED people as the job market can absorb today? That broken system?

Re:Everyone calm down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502663)

> We cannot manage our very complex, highly sophisticated capital structure with what's coming out of our high schools,

That simply isn't true insofar as the capital structure is not complex and not sophisticated. High School educations will never cover the legal loopholes created to keep the long tail intact or the basic corporate strategies that change every few years.

> He talks about having to expand the H-1B system if we don't actually address the problems in our education system here in America

Which can only make things worse, even with a broken education system. Maybe you should focus less on what you're being told versus what he's really saying. Screw the middle class, how can I make it worse for them by making way for the corporate case to replace government programs? Classic Greenspan foolery.

Re:Everyone calm down... (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46502775)

"We cannot manage our very complex, highly sophisticated capital structure with what's coming out of our high schools," said Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve.

That complexity and sophistication turns out to have been a game designed to keep worthless securities moving in the derivatives market. Standardized, regulated OTC derivatives was something Greenspan fought against. And then later admitted that he'd messed up. Standardized derivative contracts are the sorts of things that don't take Wall Street geniuses to generate. That becomes a clerical function that the average banker/broker can handle.

if we don't actually address the problems in our education system here in America.

One of the biggest problems of our American higher education system is the practice of injecting funds into the system as student loans. Loans that push the demand side of the higher education market up, causing an endless cycle of bigger loans and higher tuition. As a side effect, securitized student loans provide the investment market with a near zero risk of income due to the difficulty of loan discharge through bankruptcy. Another gift to the 1%.

Provide more direct assistance for tuition, effectively making the government a 'single payer' in the market with more clout to hold tuition and other expenses down.

This shouldnt be a surprise. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502605)

a few decades ago to shift some gravel or move some snow it took a crew of people with shovels. now, one guy in a skid-steer. dozens of people doing paperwork fixed by software. auto manufacturing relies on robots. technology kills jobs all the time. and technology is exponential, we can expect to remove huge swaths of jobs in the coming years. our economy is going to have to shift. we need robots doing everything for us but we need them to be in some way financed so that they can do the work without the bulk of the population dying of starvation. if that means rebellion against robocorp, or richman inc, then so be it :)

Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502613)

Fix Equty problems ..... there fixed that for you.

Bill Gates and Alan Greenspan .. (2)

DTentilhao (3484023) | about 6 months ago | (#46502615)

"Bill Gates and Alan Greenspan, in separate forums here, offered outlooks and prescriptions for fixing jobs and income."

One fucked up the software industry and the other fucked up the world economy, what an example ...

Re:Bill Gates and Alan Greenspan .. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502697)

Please, continue trolling. How exactly did Bill Gates fuck up the software industry?

H1-B Isn't the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502631)

Introducing more H1-B VISAs won't bring down the top. It won't put Wall St traders on smaller incomes. It won't put CEOs on smaller incomes. Tell me how a H1-B VISA will make it cheaper to have a head of the Fed. Tell me how the H1-B program makes it cheaper for the government to employ Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

But with so many unemployed, why is the H1-B scheme needed?
Why can't more people be appropriately trained and educated here?

Between them, they're right (3, Interesting)

overshoot (39700) | about 6 months ago | (#46502669)

Greenspan is right that taking the lid off of immigration will drive the top of the wage scale down, greatly reducing wage inequality.

Gates is right that there's one "job" that won't be automated: ownership.

I confess that I am assuming that Greenspan (who was never a dummy) is talking about wage, rather than income inequality. Otherwise I'm not sure how he expects a rise in immigration to do anything but accelerate the shift of income from wages to rents.

Re:Between them, they're right (1)

matthewv789 (1803086) | about 6 months ago | (#46502981)

No, he's not right. The income inequality problem is not between engineers and common workers, it's between CEOs and common workers.

Re:Between them, they're right (1)

matthewv789 (1803086) | about 6 months ago | (#46502985)

(Greenaspan that is, Gates is probably right though.)

In related news... (1)

RedMage (136286) | about 6 months ago | (#46502679)

In related news, Mr. Greenspan has no clue about inequity in stratified markets. If you push on the top, you just compress the layers into smaller layers, with the bottom filling until it can absorb no more. Then you get slums, riots, and chaos. The only way the market works is with a strong middle class with buying potential. Without that there is no market, and hence no profits or growth. Once that contract is broken, it's not a long way to the bottom for most.

Re:In related news... (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 6 months ago | (#46502893)

I disagree. In that scenario there can still be a market, its just a market for very expensive items, for only the people with money (robot owners). You are right about the slums, riots, and chaos, but that could also be solved with robots (terminator style).

Just how out of touch is Greenspan? (5, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 6 months ago | (#46502691)

"If we're not going to educate our kids, bring in other people who want to become Americans," said Greenspan, in arguing for an increase of H-1B workers.

H-1B is not a path to citizenship, apparently by design. Green card holders can say "Screw you, I quit" without deportation, which is not what companies want when they reach for H-1B's.

In the context of income inequality, Greenspan put the H-1B program in his light: If the program were expanded, income wouldn't necessarily go down much, "but I bet you they would go down enough to really make an impact, because income inequality is a relative concept.

H-1B's are competing for the bottom. Executives don't bring in indentured servants to be their own replacement, nor are meaningful numbers being placed into "rock star" slots (rock stars can command perks like actual green card status anyway). H-1B's only drive down the wages of the bottom, not the top, exacerbating wealth disparity.

Re:Just how out of touch is Greenspan? (5, Insightful)

jafac (1449) | about 6 months ago | (#46502811)

who knew, Greenspan was a proponent of what is essentially "soft-slavery".

I have been on an H1-B for the last 9 years (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502707)

And that Greenspan and Gates are telling you about H1-B's is only half the story.

The other half of the story is that there aren't enough Green cards to give out for the H1-B's that are in line for them. So you end up with H1-B workers in essentially indentured servitude to their employer with no bargaining power driving down wages for everyone else.

Increasing Green cards for existing H1-B workers currently in the US will help the US economy a lot more than creating more indentured servitude.

A little background: The number of Green cards is set by Congress. In 1999 congress increased the number of H1-B's to 190,000 but left the number of employment based Green cards at 135,000. The rule of thumb is that you need 2.2 Green cards for every H1-B issued to satisfy demand (because H1-B workers normally come with spouses and kids). To satisfy demand, they should have increased Green cards to 400,000 when they increased the H1-B numbers to 190,000 - but they didn't.

This created a huge backlog of people waiting for their Green cards - including me. I am 31 years old, I did some math, I will be 62 by the time I get mine at the current rate.

The corporations LOVE the idea of creating more H1-B's but you don't hear a peep about increasing the number of Green Cards. They claim that increasing H1-B's will increase innovation and so on - but without a commensurate increase in Green cards, that is complete nonsense. Someone who has been stuck at the same job for decades can hardly innovate.

FYI: Congress is trying to increase the number of H1-B's without increasing the number again (to the magic 195,000 again) http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/2131 . Call your Congressman/Senator and tell him/her to vote against the bill unless it includes a commensurate increase in H1-B's. The Bill is HR-2131. http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/2131

I have been on an H1-B for the last 9 years - Cor (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502727)

I screwed up the last paragraph, it should have been:

FYI: Congress is trying to increase the number of H1-B's without increasing the number of Green cards again (to the magic 195,000 again) . Call your Congressman/Senator and tell him/her to vote against the bill unless it includes a commensurate increase in Green Cards. The Bill is HR-2131. http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/2131

Absolute top of 1925... (4, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 6 months ago | (#46502721)

People who are absolutely at the top of the scale in 1925, for instance, would be getting food stamps today, said Greenspan.

Has Greenspan blown the dust off his Rolodex lately? I can't think of anybody with the last name "Rockefeller" or "Vanderbilt" in 2014 that's hurting for cash.

Re:Absolute top of 1925... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502779)

I think he needs to go to the bathroom badly, because he is literally full of shit!

Idiot cultist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502731)

We're idiot cultist who come up with jobs, sacrificing our lives to the god of capitalism, self flagellation and all. If machines do our jobs, we can just sit back and enjoy production of knowledge, culture and other things enjoyable, each to their own, it's ok warriors, time to put down your bootstraps.

Reminds Me of David Brooks (5, Funny)

careysub (976506) | about 6 months ago | (#46502813)

In the New York Times Conservative columnist was opining last June that what the what the lower economic brackets really need is to develop a "rich inner life" and derive joy and satisfaction from whatever they have, rather than "focus on external wealth". if they are unhappy with their lot they have only themselves to blame.

That's right folks, the solution to extreme inequality is for the poor to learn to make themselves happy! Just as the solution for inequality for Greenspan is to compress the Middle Class downward, make those who aren't struggling a lot, struggle a lot more.

No, no don't look at the rich and super-rich! You're just making yourself unhappy - shame on you! Trust us you don't want, and shouldn't have a bigger share of the rewards of your labor, really those that have the most really need more of what you have

In other news, the New York Times had a front-page article comparing the health and longevity of two groups of Americans living close to each other - one wealthy and one poor. Guess what? The poor are in poor health and die sooner.

That's right. Inequality is killing people. Telling them to be happy ain't going to make them live longer, and making the upper middle class poorer won't do it either.

It is quite apparent the plutocrats have an army of sycophants ready bury us in platitudes to divert any attention from how the entire nation is rigged to their advantage.

Mr. Gates: Unless and until... (0)

jpellino (202698) | about 6 months ago | (#46502833)

...humans spontaneously turn blue and go blank requiring they be poked in three places simultaneously to get them working again, your version of computing will never replace them.

A few things to fix this country. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502877)

End H1-B Visas - you want to work in America, start working on becoming a citizen.
Forget about welfare to illegal immigrants - take the children born in the U.S., put them in orphanages, ship the parents back to their country - unless they have applied for citizenship, are working and paying their share, and the company they work for is paying for things like insurance, etc...

Erase the corporate tax-evasion loopholes - anything sold to U.S. citizens gets taxed before the money flows to the company.

No more off-shore shenanigans. This includes foreign corporations - all monies foreign or domestic for sales gets taxed before leaving our borders.

Switch to a national sales tax, for everything - no more income tax. Items bought from overseas get double taxed (on top of importation duties)

Finally, forget about taxing income from stocks / bonds. Switch to a pure sales tax.

Every time a stock is bought or sold, a solid 10 to 15% sales tax added to it.
No more long term, short term gains, just tax every sale of every stock to the billionth of a penny.

For futures of real items, make it so that buying the futures includes the costs of shipping and storing those items. No more making farmers pay for crop storage so someone else can sweep them up later at an incredible discount.

Stop scum-bags from feeding off the less-well-to-do. Make them pay more than their fair share since they've been welching on the economy for so many years.

Turn the tides against the top 10%, turn it around hard.

The one percent have spoken (1)

Hey_Jude_Jesus (3442653) | about 6 months ago | (#46502917)

All you lowly non-billionaires bow down in aww!

Solved It (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 6 months ago | (#46502945)

I can't be fired because firing me requires my approval.

I can't be replaced because I write fiction for a living. In English. I can write up to 12,000 words a day.

I don't give a fuck how brilliant my would-be Chinese replacement is, he cannot ever replicate my skills. Period.

So the upper crust's plan to have people like myself waste our educations in a bullshit cubicle job have failed utterly. Big fuckin smile now.

Oh, and Slashdot is a groupthink cult for hate-mongering bigots. Just an automated version of Boingboing.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502963)

We've all seen this movie, we lost. :(

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